Motor neuron disease (MND) is the name for a group of diseases that affects particular nerves known as motor nerves or motor neurons. In Motor neuron disease, those neurons generate and die and slowly the muscles become weaker. Eventually leads to paralysis.
One of the most common kinds of MND is Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). People with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis experience muscle wasting, weakness, fasciculation, speech and swallowing problems, and muscle spasms. MND is a severely life-shortening condition for most people. Living with MND is extremely challenging. You always think that you have fewer days to live. It’s called the 1000 days disease also as people suffering from it, die after 1000 days.
Stephen William Hawkings managed to have a long and incredible career as a theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author despite suffering from Motor Neuron Disease. In the year 1963, he was diagnosed with ALS at the age of 21. He was given two years to live. He defied the odds and lived for the next 55 years. He is meant to be the only person who survived so long with this type of disease. Usually, people with MND don’t live for more than 10 years. Hawking communicated through a voice computer for much of his life, initially used his hands to control it. As his condition worsened, he was left with communicating through movement in his cheek, holding a conversation at a rate of six words a minute. “I have lived most of my life in the expectation of early death, so time has always been precious to me,” he said in 2006. ” I have so much that I want to do, I hate wasting time.”
Hawking’s scientific works included a collaboration with Roger Penrose on gravitational singularity theorems in the framework of general relativity and the theoretical prediction that black holes emit radiation, often called Hawking radiation. Hawking was the first to set out a theory of cosmology explained by a union of the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. He was a vigorous supporter of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics.
Hawking achieved commercial success with several works of popular science in which he discussed his theories and cosmology in general. His book A Brief History of Time appeared on the Sunday Times bestseller list for a record-breaking 237 weeks. Hawking was a Fellow of the Royal Society, a lifetime member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States. In 2002, Hawking was ranked number 25 in the BBC’s poll of the 100 Greatest Britons. He died on 14 March 2018 at the age of 76, after living with motor neuron disease for more than 50 years.
Stephen Hawking’s life was a remarkable outlier. Despite his disease, he managed to have a wonderful life. He never let his disease define him or limit him. He inspired a lot of young people to follow their dreams, fighting all odds. He fought the disease bravely and positively. He taught us to value time and value whatever we own or have. You always go through the unexpected in life. Life is unpredictable, so, live in the moment and live your life as it comes.